Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Hordes of the Things – Game 1

My “homeboy” JC was in town visiting his family for the holidays and I was lucky enough to hook up with him and catch up a bit and convinced him to play a couple of games of Hordes of the Things. Now I’ve played a fair bit of DBA in 15mm and 25/28mm, and for years I owned a number of 15mm Hordes of the Things armies… but it occurred to me recently that I neaver actually PLAYED with them!? So this was my first ever game of Hordes of the Things!?


I cobbled together two forces mostly based off of DBA Dark Age Saxon and Viking forces – with some fantastical elements thrown in to try them out.

The Saxon Based force had the following:

1x Blade (General)
3x Blade
6x Spear
1x Magician

They also had an Elvish allied contingent (because I wanted to try out allied contingents…) with 3x Shooters

The Viking based force had:

1x Blade (General)
6x Blade
1x Warband
1x Behemoth
1x Dragon

I busted out the old terrain tiles as I had enough to make a battlefield for HOTT… not a “legal” battlfield, per se… (rivers and roads not traveling straight across to the opposite side and all that…. but it was fun to use them just the same and the look pretty darn nice (if I do say so myself…). I think I’ll have to make some more…


Game One

I played the Saxon-based force and JC took the Vikings. We diced for who would be the attacker and defender – I ended up being the defender…

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

So I set up my stronghold and army on my designated side.

…and JC set up his.

Here’s how it all looked at the start.

There’s a close-up of his sneaky flankers the Berserks (warband) and Trolls (Behemoth)

In the first turn or two I surged forward to the river.

The Vikings advanced rather ponderously… what could they be waiting for…?

My first use of magicians wasn’t working out so well… The first time I tried a magical attack I rolled a one… I can’t remember if it was the second or third attempt, but very early in the game I rolled and second one and they self-ensorcelled themselves!? Not finding magic to be terribly useful in this game!!?

Lacking a frog I used a random cthulhu beastie to mark the location of the ensorcelled wizards… in case I actually rolled a 6 later in the game and decided to bring them back!?

The Behemoths fought some Spear on the flanks. They managed to knock out one, but the second one just kept shoving the behemoths back, and ended up shoving them right off the table! The Warband joined in and they too were shoved right off the table!

JC was having a hard time with the PIP rolls with his flanking force gone he decided to start moving troops across the river…

…then the Dragon showed up and ate my flank.

Now here’s one hitch I came across with the non-standard basing… Those two spear in the picture above Were facing the river when the Dragon attacked their flank. Now if they had been deployed on regular stands there would have been room to turn them to face without having to move the dragon. In fact they could have done so and still been able to recoil (ONCE!) without being destroyed… not so here… We turned both to face the dragon and just had to move the Dragon back a bit…. He won the combat and destroyed both, though now that I think about it… I think maybe only one of those Spear should have been destroyed for recoiling into friedlies it couldn’t pass through... ah well…


The Elvish Allies never did show up and the main elements of our armies never even fought. They ended up just standing on the bank for a bit watching each other and just as the Vikings started the wade across the dragon showed up. At that point they stopped and stood there in the water watching the dragon eat my flank!

Total Losses:
1x Blade
3x Spear
1x Magician (self-ensorcelled!?)

1x Warband - Berserkers
1x Behemoth – Trolls
(both were poorly positioned and were shoved off the side edge of the table…)

Game Two

We switched forces and diced again, once again I was the defender.

The attacking horde of Saxons.

The Defenders of the Fjords…

We both surged towards each other in large groups. I got the dragon a bit earlier in the game (Turn Three versus Turn Six in the previous game).

I do like the extra deep stands… Looks more like an army… to me.

The main forces finally clashed and it was a wondrous shoving match – pushing back and forth, no one side actually destroying any of the others, but slowly, over the turns JC had the luck and began shoving my guys back towards their Stronghold.

JC seemed to be rolling big on the PIP dies, often having surplus PIPs with nothing to do with them. I on the other hand just couldn’t get enough to get my flanking forces across the river to get moving and help the main force out – even the dragon stalled for a few turns..

The Elves also arrived…

… and then, when that Dragon finally DID get moving JCs luck held. He rolled a 6, I rolled a 1, and the damn Dragon flew off the table never to return…. DOH!!! Damned fickle dragons!?

Maneuvering to the rear and flanks while the main line continued their shoving match.

I charged the Trolls across the ford a number of time only to be repelled again and again by those wretched spearmen and their damn pointy sticks!?

Tried to get the other flankers going across the river… just couldn’t get them going and keep my main line intact.

What a mess… The game was getting desperate at this point the Hird was pushed back to the gates of their stronghold!!

At some point my General knocked out a pair of spears forcing them to recoil into friendlies to the rear not facing in the same direction. The then shoved past the line and tried to help the flankers mess about in the rear..

The situation got desperate and I had to do something. I moved the General into a situation where whoever lost would recoil into something bad and die – I had a +2 advantage so I took the risk and succeeded… I also moved the trolls into a bad situation – because of how clever JC had positioned his elves after I had pushed back the spears I would have to turn and face the elves… not that in it self wasn’t bad as the Behemoths count as “mounted” and so get a quick kill against shooters in contact… unfortunately in this position the Spears would be in flank contact… so we were even and whoever lost would die… it didn’t matter in the end because the magician fired off a spell at the trolls and knocked them out…

What was left on the field when the dust settled…

Totall Losses
1x Behemoth – Trolls
1x Dragon (fled off the table…!?)
2x Blades

3x Spear

Dragon not so useful in this game. Gah… It’s too late I need to go to sleep, I post this in the morning…

Well.... kids/dogs have gotten me up a bit too early so I'm not functioning all that much better this morning... but I'll try and finish this up... The second game was definitely a LOT longer (~16 turns vs. 10 turns). In our first the main elements never really even clashed, they just eyed each other up across the river then my magicians belw themselves up and teh dragon arrived and chewed on my flank and that was that. The Dragon was a very decisive element, magicians... not so much...

In the second game the Dragon proved to be utterly useless. The Magician wasn't a whole lot of help...

Game Two definitely seemed more like an "epic battle". Game One seemed more like a Dragon showed up and everyone ran away scared! both seemed entirely realistic.... Hmmmm... maybe "realistic" isn't quite the word for a fantasy game.... maybe "plausible"...?

Anyway, both were totally good fun and I'm totally stoked to get going on my Hordes Campaign!

Big thanks to JC for helping me sort this out.

Now I'll have to sit down and read the rules again and figure out all the stuff I had wrong and where I was totally cheating and making stuff up...

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Elvish Knights

More elves!

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

These are some GW High Elf Silverhelms. Let me tell you getting three on a base with a 60mm frontage wasn’t easy!? They’re hard enough to line up together on their 25mm bases. I got these off of ebay already assembled so… maybe if I had bought new ones I could have been a bit more careful how they went together…

I’m not totally thrilled about these. They sees a little flimsy and brittle. They're also pretty damn HUGE. I think They're almost as tall as my dragon.... which just seems wrong.... (Maybe I need to get a BIGGER dragon!?)

I would really have liked to get West Wind Productions Elven Cavalry… but at £9.99 (+£1.99 postage) for three of them…. I just couldn’t afford them right now….

Well, I just need one more stand of these (eventually I’ll do three) and two more magician stands and I’ll be able to field an Elvish army for Hordes of the Things.

Hmmmmm... seems once again I've been too hasty with the taking pictures and posting - that whitish blob under the shrub is glue that still hasn't dried. Ah well, once I have the entire army completed I'll get some better pics up.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

More Fantasy Figures

The last couple evenings I’ve been working on some more fantastical figures.

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

Finally got around to finishing up the latest batch of Descent figures for my pal John in Calgary. maybe one of these days he’ll take some PICTURES of his games and post them on his blog so you can see them in ACTION!!!

These are some GW plastic Elves. I’ve mixed some old (OLD!) wood elves on a base with a High Elf Lotharin Sea Guard as a commander. I ended up with 30 of the Wood Elves and six of the Sea Guard – as I’m making stands of six and units of three stands… this wasn’t a really useful combination until I realized If I stuck one of the sea guard front and center on each stand like a captain I’d end up with six stands (2 full units). So I painted one up to see if they’d work together. I think it turned out not-so-bad, being painted all the same colour kind of ties them together nicely…

These are some newer GW dwarfs from the new Skull Pass boxed set. I picked them up off ebay pretty cheap. They paint up nice enough and pretty quick too! I have enough for two units (6 stands). So I may crack these out first, just to fill out the ranks and then add or replace them with the Ghost Miniatures elements when I’ve got more time.

A pair of Reaper Miniatures Elvish nobility/wizards ready for some Savage Worlds skirmishing. Hmmmmm, in this close up shot that Elfie Queen looks like she's got a bit of a sneer going on or something.

I also made a magneto-stand for them so I can use them as one of my Elvish magicians in Hordes of the Things.

Working on some Elvish Knights next, then maybe a couple more spear for the Saxons - to finish them up! then I really ought to get cracking on some orcs... or finish off the elves... Of course by then some MORE Descent figures will probably have arrived for me to paint... we shall see...

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Chugging Along

I finished up another batch of Anglo-Saxons another unit of Thegns/Fyrd for Warmaster Ancients or another three stands of Spear for DBA or Hordes of the Things

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

This is a great mix of figures… There’s some Old Glory, Gripping Beast, some old, old Citadel in the back…. Probably some others I can’t think of…

I also did a couple spares (well, I didn’t have ANY spares with SPEARS…) for either skirmishing or “change” for stands if I ever fell on my head and inflicted the kind of brain damage that would be required for me to play Warhammer…. Oooh… Now that may have been a bit offside… sorry… my head HURTS and I’m feeling a little crusty this morning… it’s still morning, right….?


My head hurts....

Anyone know what the LD50 of chocolate is...? I'm concerned that I may be rapidly approaching it.... 

Monday, December 22, 2008

Back in the Saddle Again

Well… not quite in the saddle, per se… but I am able to sit and paint and I’m back to cranking things out after the kiddies are off to sleep!

Here’s what I’ve finished up in the last couple evenings…

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

A couple of fierce Viking lads. I think I got both of these in a trade – the one on the right is an old Citadel figure… or maybe old Wargames Foundry… the other one I’m not quite sure about… ah well, nice figures…

This is a i-Kore/Celtos figure I picked up when the Dragons’s Den was blowing them out for $1 per blixter!? He will be my celtic hero Bran Mac Muffin!

These are some more Celtos figures - elves. About half I picked up from the den, the rest I recently found on ebay. As I’ve mentioned a number of times recently, I was originally planning on using these for 28mm Warmaster… and have been rethinking that… but I think I’ll still do things in units of three like this to keen options open and, really four units of three stands is 12 stands… 12 stands @ 2AP is 24 AP… a Hordes of the Things army (or big battle HotT command…)

I had a couple left over so I did them up a singles for skirmishing.

Tonight I have to get to work on a few more Descent figures for Mr. J. Burt. and I’ve also got some Anglo-Saxons Thegns I’m working on…

I’m kind of all over the place…. wanting to do a stand of this and a stand of that, but I should really put the nose to the grindstone and figure out an order to which I should do things and do one army at a time. I’m pretty close to being able to field Anglo-Danish and Viking armies, so I should really concentrate on those. After that…? The next closest to being done is the Elves… Part of me, however, feels like I should get cracking on some “bad guys” and work on the orcs and goblin hordes… another part is pretty keen to work on the Dwarves…

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Wolf Riders

I got some Orc wolf riders in the mail yesterday. They’re Old Glory - Ghost Miniatures that I picked up from Nice figures those Ghost minis – and pretty reasonably priced. I really like some of the Dwarves. Anyway I’m trying to decide how to base the wolf riders…

Should they be three to a base like DBA cavalry or Two to a base like DBA Light Horse…? It doesn’t matter rules-wise as they are all considered “Riders” in Hordes of the Things.

The three options I’m considering are (from left to right, below) two one a 60x50mm base (like Light Horse), three to a 60x60mm base, or three to a 60x50 base.

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

Looking at the picture now, I’m kind of leaning towards the three to a 60x60mm base…

It will match the base size for my foot Hordes – and looks a little more like a mounted horde…. On the other hand If I went with the Light Mounted basing (2 per base) I could have 1.5x as many units/stands…. Hmmmmm….

Anyone else got any strong opinions out there…?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


My new copy of Hordes of the Things arrived in the post yesterday. While I can’t find anything significantly different rules-wise (I haven’t read it all just yet…) I must say that it is MUCH more clearly organized and well worth the expenditure!

That got me motivated to bang out some figures last night… I got a sprue of four Games Workshop Dryads in a trade. These aren’t your normal “hot chick in the woods” type dryads – these tree spirits look like nasty pieces of work. I thought they’d make perfect “Lurkers” for my Elf HOTT army. As these only really required one of two colours and most of it’s dry brushing I thought I could manage it standing up.

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t want to walk into a woody terrain feature and have these pop up in my face!!

I went to see the surgeon yesterday (hour and a half wait – I did more sitting, if you could call the slouched back on one side position I was in “sitting”, in that office waitingthan I had in the entire two weeks previous!) and he decided to take out all of my stitches. He said everythings looking pretty good, but after taking them out he said there’s a chance the wound might just open up now that the stitches are out… in which case I would hve to rush to the emergency room and have it packed or sewed back up again… (gee, thanks doc. You couldn’t have left just a couple in?!). Anyway, he said to take it easy for a couple more days and in a week or two he suggested I’d be back to 100% (though he might have insinuated that I lay off the winter cycling for a bit…. (How the hell am I going to get to the Dragon’s Den Boxing Day sale!?). Ah well, I’m hoping I’ll be sitting again by the weekend and painting up a storm.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

HOTT Campaign Map

I may not have been painting much... but I have been thinking an awful lot about the Hordes of the Things campaign. Planning and organizing armies, buying miniatures off ebay, designing a fantasy setting of my own... and making a map of it!

Here it is (you can click on it to see a bigger version):

Orcland - is obviously the Orcs - not so much a nation as a loose grouping of tribes that occasionally recognize one of their own as overlord and go to war under them...

Dwarvia - The equally obvious land of the Dwarves.

Amundaland - From the ruins of a once great ancient civilization has sprung an army of the undead! BWA-HA-HA-Ha-Ha-ha-ha.... ha... heh...

Nordland - Humans (think "Vikings")

Angland - Humans (if you guessed "Saxons", you were right...)

Narn - Humans (You get three guesses, if one of them isn't "Normans" I'd like to slap you with a dead fish).

Eilf - The Elves.... now those of you familiar with DBA/HOTT campaign maps might notice that they have a limited number of routes to the rest of the world and the only way to get anywhere would be through Angland... well... those are the routes for "normal" sea-faring folk... The elves have an ultra-secret "special nautical movement rule"... Shhhhh, don't tell anyone... (Don't worry everyone else will have some sort of "special rule")

I haven't gotten so far as to come up with the names of the kings and rulers or much of a background... but that's coming...

Not Dead Yet!!

Well the hole they cut in me is slowly but surely healing up. This whole not sitting thing has put a serious dent into my usual high productivity. That’s not to say I haven’t been doing ANY hobby stuff. I’ve done a lot of prep work on figures – mounting them to painting bases and priming, etc…. I also did a bit of rebasing…. Stuff that I could do in a short period of time while standing.

I even did a small amount of painting the other day. Some Normans. They’re armoured, so it was mostly dry-brushing metal then painting shoes, hands, face sleeves and shields… all pretty simple stuff…

(Click on the pictures to see a bigger version)

These are a couple of older minis… like ~10 years old… They were originally part of my old 15mm HoTT armies. When I traded the armies away I held on to these. They were “28mm” figures – I just used them with the 15’s because… well… they looked even more awesome and scary standing next to a 15mm figure!? Anyway, they were on 40x40mm card bases that looked like golf green. The pait jobs aren’t quite up to today’s standards, but they’re “good enough” so I ripped them off and stuck them on new washer bases.

Now any that have been following along know that I am planning a HoTT campaign. So to make these usable with HoTT I made some dedicated magnetic movement trays… The base is 1/8” MDF which I stuck a bit of self-adhesive magnetic sheet stuff onto, then dressed up to match the round washer bases on the figure. Pretty nifty, eh? From above (where you would normally be looking at them from when playing) the border of the washer s a bit more apparent… but still, I think they worked out pretty darn okay!

Here are said Normans. The colours on the flag turned out a little dark in the pic… They’re a deep red and a dark green – but not THAT dark! They’re from Gripping Beast.

Wow. Painting while standing up is TOUGH…!! I think I’ll lay off for a bit until I can sit down again.

Come to think of it, typing while standing up kind of sucks too – even with the keyboad up on a box….

Anyway, not dead. Just recovering. Hopefully be back to regular hobby activities and posting by the new year…

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Some More Thoughts on the H.O.T.T. Campaign


After some more serious stock-taking and organization I’ve come to the realization that I still have an awful lot I’d need to paint before we even got going. It will probably be spring before I’m ready… So I’m thinking I’d like to host a H.O.T.T. Camapgin Weekend some time in the spring/early summer to kick things off, then after that start a new, longer strategic campaign via email sometime shortly thereafter.

So when would be a good time for folks in the spring/early summer to have a H.O.T.T. Camapgin Weekend? Who would be willing to travel to Saskatoon to do so? POST COMMENTS HERE!


Three of the armies will be human kingdoms. They will be based on historical Anglo-Danish, Viking, and Norman DBA armies. As this IS “Fantasy”, however, I though I should probably add the option of having some heroic, fantastical elements in the army. I think all three could certainly have a Hero General… but what about magic. I think the Normans might be limited to having a Cleric element (bishop). How about the Saxoms and Vikings? Should they have Magician elements (shamans)? I’m not entirely sure they’re necessary, and I can’t think of anything else I could add. Suggestions? Should one of the Norman Knight stands be upgraded to Paladins?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

What I’ve Been Up To

For any that have been paying attention the surgery went fine, but I can’t really sit down, so this will be brief. Here are a few things I finished up in the last couple days before going under the knife.

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

A unit of Bondi – By “unit” I mean for Warmaster Ancients. It will probably see more service in the immediate furutre as three stands of “Blade” in a Viking DBA/Hordes of the Things army… I think the’re all from Old Glory…. Oh except the horn-blower, I think he’s from Essex

This is an ancient Orc catapult. I think it was made by Grenadier and I’ve had it for… oh… 18 years or so…!? It was for my original Warhammer Orc army. It’s been sitting in a half painted state ever since… I painted the catapult in the last year of so, the Orcs Crew I painted this week and put it on a base – Now my Warmaster/Hordes of the Things Orc army has an Artillery option…. Actually come to think of it, this is the ONLY stand I have finished for my Orc Warmaster/Hordes of the Things army. Oh dear, I have some work to do.

Some assorted singles I finished up, from left to right; Crusader Miniatures Saxon Commander, Gripping Beast Viking, Some GW hero-type, an I-kore/Celtos Gael hottie….

Not recent paints, but I did re-base these to be a command stand for Warmaster Ancients.

I think I best go lie down now. I’ve been doing much thinking and planning for the Hordes of the Things campaign but I’ll have to post those thoughts some other time…

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


A number of influences have converged and got me thinking about DBA and Hordes of the Things again… This past week I’ve been planning and plotting and figuring what I’d need to finish up a number of DBA and HOTT armies. I’ve even started some painting and rebasing of old figures to the new basing standards. All this has, of course, got me thinking, once again, of the megalomaniac dream of running a grand sweeping fantasy campaign of good versus evil (and all the confused and easily corrupted, volatile and fickle humans in between…).

Since the very first edition of DBA came out (I still have my first edition somewhere – ordered direct from England in 199 – after reading about it in a Wargames Illustrated article..) I’ve wanted to run a campaign. It’s just never seemed to work out – people involved never getting around to painting armies, moving away, unable to find people willing to play, etc… I imagine it would add so many new dimensions to the basic tabletop wargame. From the wheeling and dealing (and possibly back-stabbing) of international diplomacy to strategic planning and movement to new elements of tactical decision making – do I risk destruction of my army to win this battle or retreat and live to fight on another day…?

I reckon I could put together six or seven armies in the not too distant future; Dwarves, Elves, Orcs, possibly Undead and two to four Human Kingdoms. I’ve been considering two options for campaigns..

The first would be a simple one day or weekend long affair using the simple campaign system as presented in the DBA/HOTT books. All participants would be present and I imagine it would be a bit like a game of diplomacy with some games of HOTT in between to figure out the results of armies bumping into each other…

The second idea would be a longer, on-going campaign with a more detailed campaign system – possibly based on the old Mighty Empires game. For this campaign I would recruit players on two different levels. First I would need to recruit players, that would hopefully be unknown to each other, who would serve as the kings or leaders of the various countries. They would be players in a play-by-email campaign of politics and strategic decision-making – and so wouldn’t necessarily have to be from around here! On a local basis I would need a couple players to game out any battles generated by the strategic campaign movements – though, if needed, these could even be played solo – and these would be chronicled in battle reports on my blog… or maybe even a new one dedicated to the campaign…

These two options wouldn’t necessarily be mutually exclusive. I thought I might run a simple day or weekend long campaign whenever I get all (or even SOME) of the armies finished… maybe in February for m 6th Annual Wargaming Birthday Bash? Or alternatively (or additionally) I could potentially be convinced to drag the whole mess out to Edmonton or Calgary – either to Fallcon or Mayday or some other mutually agreeable weekend… (this might be tough this coming year as time and money for travel will be a bit tight as we really can not further put off some serious home renovations… maybe if I could carpool/split gas with others, this might be a bit more feasible…). The ongoing campaign could start anytime after I get all the forces finished.

I imagine the long campaign would be played with weekly campaign turns that could represent seasons (spring, summer, fall) or months of the campaigning season (six, approximately equating to April to September…?) depending on the system I use. At the very minimum players would be expected to send one email to me each week indicating where they would like to deploy their field army (or armies) at the beginning of the campaign season and which elements of their army they’d like to replace, and then where they would like the army to move each turn… It would be helpful, though not necessarily necessary, to read all of the campaign notices, dispatches from other players, and battle reports from the previous moves… There would be all sorts of opportunity for as muc or as little role-playing as one desired; sending secret messages to other kingdoms, or making public royal proclamations, challenges or ultimatums!

I might even tie the long campaign into my weekly Savage Worlds game night – for which the players have just made new fantasy characters… (BWA-HA-HA-HA-Ha-ha-ha…ha…heh… see? Megalomaniac slipping out again there…)


Who’s interested….?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Week of Terrain

I’ve been building terrain this week. So far I’ve finished some stuff for my mud-brick village. I am loather to refer to it as my “middle East” village because, really, it could be used for anything from Algeria to Chinese Turkestan, and Mos Eisley to Shadizar…

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

The new sections.

These will add some new dimensions and options for the village from a wall surrounding it to dead end alleyways…

more angles… and some 28mm modern figures for size reference

yet another angle… Hmmmm... I should have put figures in all of these pictures - each from a different era/region/genre... ah well, hopefully you will see the versatility in the AARs to follow!

I am also in the process of making a bunch more ruins and rubble. This I planned on doing more grey to have a more “euro” masonry and concrete rubble look to it.... Or I could paint them all sand and add them to my mud brick village collection... nah, I want to do some Stalingrad street fighting and some rummaging through the ruins of Mordheim looking for Wyrdstone...